Figure 1.--While not popular with most boys, some are very enthusiatic about dancing. Some readers report that old, negative attitudes are changing.
Ballet enthusiasts point to many benefits for children to pursue dance. Those aspiring to a professional career Must draw on these qualities, but everyone who needs to deal with others on a business or social level will find these most beneficial. The students of ballet learn the rules and guidelines and virtually teach themselves, valuable
properties in getting along in any environment--the workplace or at home. There are a wide variety og benefits to children from studying ballet. Ballet teachers contend that studying ballet teach and educate children for life's rigors. The disciplines of ballet and other related arts have proven a great experience for many--but not all children. Dance is a discipline itself that will educate students in many different ways. It will teach them to interact and respect others. Learning this discipline will also give the students self respect, increase their self-esteem, their ability to concentrate and to resolve problems. We will enforce respect and discipline and class and in the studios. We expect students to conduct themselves at their best behavior and to adhere to the rules. We expect the student to become mature and independent according to their age. Students are responsible of cleaning after themselves in dressing rooms and studios.
Paying attention, listening, watching, regular attendance, and putting forth your best energy and effort are all valuable experiences. Even students in a pre-ballet program (those to young for the rigors of classical ballet) profit from this.
A reader writes, "Ballet is probably the one single discipline in the arts that does more good for any young person than any other thing you could do to improve your sports skills. Any good coach who's worth their salt recognizes the benefits of ballet when combined with any type of sport. I think most figure skating
coaches insist that a child wanting to take figure skating at a serious level should also enrol in ballet classes.....they go hand in hand. I've heard of hockey coaches and whole hockey teams (pee-wee level - age 12) who have hired ballet instructors for part of the kids training curriculum. There was one particular pee-wee hockey team playing up in North Bay - Canada who had a phenomenal win record back in the late 70's, No one could figure out why these 12-year-old kids were so good. They were able to out-skate their opponents, pass the puck with precision control, stop on a dime and reverse direction, and hit slap shots that would take your head
off.. just like the big boys in the NHL. Nobody could figure out why until one day when they were playing an "away game" in another town, one of the "hockey moms" (who was also a local ballet instructor in town) spotted it right away. When the opposing team coaches and players were sitting in the dressing room licking their wounds from a embarrassing loss this "hockey mom" just started to laugh. When they asked her what was so funny she simply told them "the
reason that team is so good.is because those boys take ballet as part of their hockey training". Apparently part of the conditions for any boy who wanted to play hockey for this team (I think the name of the team was the "North Bay Hurricanes") had to take ballet classes. If they didn't want to comply with this rule.then you didn't play on that team - end of issue. When a local sports reporter got wind of this, he did a story on the team from North Bay. What came out of it was the training aspect that these boys went through just to be on that team. Apart from the normal power skating lessons, and
regular hockey type training the boys had to take one hour of ballet lessons (in full outfit of tights and ballet slippers) before the actual "hockey practice" started. The lessons were conducted in a gymnasium located next to the hockey rink. The boys were initially sworn to secrecy and told not to tell anyone about their special "ballet hockey warm-up". The kids had ballet and hockey practices three to four times per week (there's not a lot to do
in North Bay in the winter). Although the parents knew about it, the coaches just wanted to have the winning edge over other teams. They knew that eventually the story would leak out and when it did, it opened the eyes of many other coaches in the leagues."
Learn rules, the body only works in certain ways.
Body awareness such as Posture Alignment along with developing
in general strength and fitness with increased flexability.
Figure 2.--Many observers report a wide range of benefits flowing from ballet beyond athletic and other motor skills.
Classical Music awareness, appreciation. In todays era of rock and hiphop music, some children are never exposed to classical music. Learning ballet exposes them to the classics--in many cases developing an appreciation that will provide a life of pleasure enjoying the classics.
Ballet is not easy. For most children it is the most difficult goal they have ever accomplished. It require enormous physical and mental challenges. It provides lessons in tenacity and determination in order to achieve goals.
Ballet requires not just phusical effort. There is also an enormous phusical challenge. Leanning ballet helps to develops brain abilities as well as motor skills and the human spirit.
Masstering the demandinging discipline of classical ballet is a tremendous achievement. Ones' achievements whether professional or just amaturish convey a tremendous sence of achievement building swlf confidence. The ballet student gainsconfidence and self esteem as well as respect for others and ones self.
Learning ballet is probably the most difficult subject that children have evere attempted. It requires enormous concentration and internal effort. The ballet student must learn from the inside out--not just followthe instructor.
Simply to learn an art form is a great benefit. In the age old debate, what is the diifference between man and other animals, one of the few differences which stand is "art". Art may in fact be the defining characteristic of the human spirit.
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